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Injured hiker rescued from cave in northern Arizona

(Flickr/Coconino National Forest)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Nearly two-dozen firefighters and other emergency personnel rescued an injured hiker who couldn’t walk out of a mile-long cave in northern Arizona.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said a 44-year-old Cordes Lakes man Monday suffered an ankle injury near the end of mile (1.6 kilometer)-long Lava River Cave.

The cave was an underground tube that the Coconino National Forest’s website says was formed 700,000 years ago by molten rock from a volcanic vent on in what is now Hart Prairie.

The Sheriff’s Office said 23 rescue personnel from three agencies were involved in the 3.5-hour operation, which was a challenge because of the cave’s darkness and rough terrain.

The hiker was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment.

The cave is located 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) north of Flagstaff.